Saturday, August 6, 2011

Rise of the Planet of the Apes-review

This is Sparta!
            This movie impressed the hell out of me.  “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” tells the story of the rise of the apes and the fall of men which leads to the “Planet of the Apes” franchise.  This movie therefore seems loosely based off the movie “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.”  Some of the basic names and concepts are there but it really is its own movie.  As its own movie, it works fantastically.

First off, I really didn’t know what to expect from the previews in terms of CGI.  The main ape, Caesar (played by Andy Serkis), was incredible to watch. The expressive primates of the film really make the movie a visually remarkable experience.  WETA workshop did an amazing job creating apes that you can easily become emotionally invested in.  The apes really steal the show and as a whole you root for them the whole time as they have been very cruelly mistreated most of the movie.

Alright! They got Sunny D!
Not to say that the human characters are not fine actors.  James Franco brings a lot of heart to his role as does John Lithgow.  The emotional ties between these characters as father and son are very believable and bring a very real sorrow to the movie.  Franco’s character is working on a cure for Alzheimer’s disease which his father has.  He is testing it on apes when he discovers it causes their brain functions to increase exponentially. 

Tom Felton as a shitheel? I refuse to believe it.
Tom Felton plays a role as a bully animal caretaker.  Felton, as you might recall was Draco Malfoy in the “Harry Potter” movies.  So playing a bratty shithead was a real stretch for him.  The story is incredible and is like watching the missing link on screen.  This is how I would imagine an ape descendant between man developing language and tactical genius.  I really got chills when all the apes suddenly woke up and realized they were sentient.  That takes astounding talent to portray that realization in a CGI animal’s face.

Keep your Shake-Weight to yourself.
That being said, there are a few things I would have changed.  There is a plot regarding a plague that is shoe-horned into the credits.  That is a bit of an odd choice.  There is also the matter of the extreme animal cruelty that I just can’t handle.  How many times can people be dicks to animals in front of other people without the other people saying anything to stop it?  On the other hand, if cops wanted to stop an ape uprising, is that really such a hard thing with the weapons we possess?  Stupid nitpicks aside, so far this is a serious contender for the best movie of the summer.  The acting is great. The story is wonderful. All-in-all I recommend it to anyone who is in the mood for decent sci-fi movie with a great deal of brains behind it and a lot of heart underneath.  Happy watching.   

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